"Yes, sir," I say trying to hide the smile forming on my face.
"Now, let's get you looked at by a doctor, both of you, and then we'll figure out where to send you to surprise Mr. Mason."
"You ready?" I turn in my seat to face Shannon.
Her bruises are minimal, thankfully. Mine, well . . . they're horrific. The new wounds on my back will scar. Two ribs on my right side and three on my left are broken. My left kneecap has a chip in it, which makes walking painful. My right cheek bone is fractured, giving me a nasty black eye, and blackish-purple bruises cover the rest of my skin.
"Yes," she says with a huge smile on her face.
Blake, his parents, and my team are working at the halfway house today. They took in new survivors earlier this week.
"Let's do this." I open the door and slide out, waiting for her to join me.
Opening the first set of glass doors, Shannon stares through the second set. I move to the side, hiding myself should anyone look this way. Blake, his stepmother, and father are in the middle of the room chatting with a few of the nurses. Teresa is sitting on the arm of one of the sofas, reading a book to Sorina and a group of young girls.
Dresden, Vlad, Jameson, Rhett, and Jax stand with their arms crossed, watching the commotion throughout the room. Sammi and Hayato sit on stools near the window, talking. I've never seen them all so miserable. Even Sorina looks defeated.
"Go. Once you have everyone's attention, I'll slip in. Today's your day." I nod toward the door.
Shannon takes a deep breath and slowly opens the door, stepping inside. Blake glances up, does a double take, his eyes widening as Shannon walks further into the room.
His stepmother turns, finally taking in her daughter. She screams, running to Shannon, sweeping her into her arms. I smile at the reunion. Carmen runs her hands over her daughter's face, neck, and shoulders . . . tears streaming down her face.
"Oh, Shannon, thank God. We thought yo
u were . . . how . . . oh my word . . . " Carmen sobs.
Blake and his father converge on them, talking in excitement, tears running down their faces. I glance around the room. Every pair of eyes is locked on Shannon and her family.
Slowly, I open the door and slide inside, leaning against the wall. My eyes never leave Blake. He looks thinner and as if he hasn't slept in a while, but still beautiful and breath taking. Something in me changed over the last two months. I never thought I'd see him again, but now that he's so close, I want to run to him, touch him, wrap my arms around him and never let go.
After another few minutes, I glance around the room. A young pair of eyes is locked on me. Sorina stands just past Shannon, next to Teresa. Tears streaming down her face, she looks lost. I wink.
'Lily,' she mouths silently.
Wow . . . I must be beat up worse than I thought.
I nod and wink again with my good eye. Her chest rises and falls as her breathing accelerates. A smile spreads across my face. She takes a shuffled step forward.
"Lily!" Her voice rings out over the chatter of everyone else. The room drops to a dead silence, all eyes moving to Sorina, and then following her gaze to me. "Lily," she screams, breaking into a run.
I push off the wall and brace myself.
This is going to hurt.
From the corner of my eye, Blake's gaze is on me. He staggers to the side as Dresden moves forward to steady him, Vlad stepping up on the other side, clasping his shoulder. I open my arms and Sorina launches into them, wrapping hers around my neck, sobbing uncontrollably. I squeeze her to me, wincing, swallowing a scream as pain moves through my body like wildfire.
"Hey, kiddo," I say through gritted teeth.
"They said . . . they said you were dead," she sobs into my neck.